Consulting over charges (Section 20)
Section 20 Consultation
We're required by law to carry out formal consultation with leaseholders when we are going to carry out repair, replacement or renewal works to your home or block and the costs are likely to exceed £250 per household.
This is known as ‘Section 20 Consultation’.
The type of work can be anything from painting the communal walls to a full roof replacement, but the trigger for consultation will only be if the work will cost more than £250 per household.
For example, if a block of ten flats is due to have external decorations carried out and the likely cost is going to be £3,000, we would need to carry out a consultation as the cost per home will be £300.
A Section 20 Consultation is normally carried out in two stages:
The first notice – ‘Notice of Intention’ – is simply to advise you of the type of work we are planning to carry out, and to ask if you wish to nominate your own contractor to carry out the works. You'll have a minimum of 30 days in which to make comments on this notice.
The second notice – ‘Statement of Estimates’ – will advise you on the contractors we've managed to get quotations from, and the likely cost of the works. You'll have a further minimum of 30 days in which to make comments to us regarding the costs or works.
Sometimes we have to serve a third notice, but this is only necessary if we haven’t chosen the lowest quotation or the contractor we've chosen isn’t one that a resident may have nominated.
There are other types of notice that we sometimes serve, for example, where major works are carried out under a much larger contract. The only real difference with these types of contracts is that you're not able to nominate your own contractor – but the works are advertised across Europe, so in effect, they are open to anyone to apply for as long as they are registered within an EU country.
We also have to consult with you if we're planning to enter into a long-term contract for day-to-day services, for example, grounds maintenance, communal cleaning or lift servicing. The trigger for consultation for these types of works is where the costs would exceed £100 per year.
Help and support
To find out more about the Section 20 Consultation process, please email our Homeownership team at firstname.lastname@example.org.